Blog - Page 19 of 31 - Advanced AV

Pushing Products or Solving Problems

One of the hardest things about being an AV integrator is the mere number of products that do the same thing.  I suppose that could be called out as a challenge in most tech industries, but in our industry there is no doubt that this is a problem.

With customers doing more research on their own than ever before and this aforementioned glut of similar products, we hear regularly from customers who are asking about a certain piece by name whether it be a projector model “X” or a video conferencing unit model “Y.”

As a reseller it is easy to get caught up in these requests and therefore find a price and quote our customers on every single product that they inquire about, but as an integrator it is important that we hold close to something more.

Perhaps best phrased as a question, are we pushing products or solving problems?
Why We Must Focus On Solving Business Problems
For a long time high tech presentation equipment was more of a nice to have than a need to have for businesses.  That is why for a long time there was a few “Tech” spaces with all the fancy toys and the rest of the organization was left to flip charts, easels and whiteboards.

Today we are connected 24/7/365 and that change which is being driven by our desire to have technology on demand is finally imposing its will on just about every business and institution on the planet.  Schools, government and business all seek to be more connected and collaborative.  The way we see it technology is a vehicle to solve a problem, not just another widget to make a space just that much cooler.

In the world of technology, it is […]

By |April 1st, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

Delivering Piece Of Mind With AV Monitoring Solutions

We’ve all at some level experienced the technology that fails us right as we need it most.

Perhaps it is during a demonstration or when you are trying to connect for an important videoconference.  Too often it seems to happen at the most inopportune times leaving us frenzied as we try to make due with what is working.

If “Imagine It” were enough to sell, we wouldn’t need technology at all, right?

Unfortunately, we do need our technology to work and Murphy’s Law has bit us all a few times.  Nevertheless if we were smart, we would learn from these situations.

While sometimes the circumstances that surround a botched demo or failed call are completely unavoidable, in today’s technology rich world, I believe the onus is on us more than ever to plan and prepare to make sure our technology works and of course have a plan b for when it doesn’t.
 
Is It Time To Monitor Our Presentation Technology?
 
When the CEO of your company walks into the boardroom with an expectation to do a video call with a client across the ocean and the system doesn’t work, how unhappy is she going to be?

Chances are in that moment she is going to want you to do whatever it takes to get the system running.  Noting that if it cannot be fixed quickly she would like to see the system removed and returned to whoever sold you the useless heap of garbage.

The exact rhetoric may somewhat vary, but the message stays the same:

This stuff is expensive and it should work!

A certain amount of planning can help avoid these things, such as testing out the tech a few minutes before the call, but realistically if a technician walks into the room […]

By |March 25th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

Google Enters Business Video Market – What Does It Mean?

A lot of people would think that when perhaps the world’s most recognizable brand launches a hardware based video conferencing product that will be affordable for just about every business on the planet that it would make the competition nervous.

Well for those that haven’t heard, just this past week Google announced the launch of its “Google Chrome for Business” HD telepresence solution. This supposedly plug and play solution is promising to deliver HD video to up to 15 simultaneous sights and it sells for all of $999.99. (For just the hardware Unit – No Installation)

As a technology integrator and a passionate provider of collaboration technology to business, schools, government and more, let’s just say for us, this news is terrific. Perhaps some of the best news we have heard in sometime.

If you find yourself asking why, don’t feel alone, when we first read the news there were immediate butterflies in our stomachs as we felt the potential implications of the Google jumping into our market, but then we thought about it a little more and realized that Google’s involvement into Video Telepresence isn’t a negative thing, it is a huge positive as it is the ultimate validation of what we are doing.

How many people out there are getting the big thumbs up from Google? By entering this market Google is saying video is the real deal and we couldn’t agree with them more.
 
Disruption Driving Better Business (Video)
 
We all know that business video leads to better business outcomes. With on average of 8x better comprehension than a typical voice call, the need for collaborative video solutions has arrived.

For sometime we have been talking at Advanced […]

By |March 20th, 2014|Blog|0 Comments

What is Collaboration, Really?

This is the year that we put the weight of our team, our resources and our partnerships behind collaboration; A concept that is often thrown out in discussions of better employees, more productive workplaces and the most successful companies.

A word that represents so much but means so little, begging the question, what exactly is collaboration?

Not in the sense of what the dictionary or some other online source may say, but instead let’s talk about what collaboration means to our business and perhaps more importantly what collaboration should mean to your business.

Approximately 270 days a year most of us roll out of bed in the morning and take to some type of routine. Maybe your day starts with coffee and the newspaper, or maybe you jump on line and you check your Facebook page. Often we start our day by finding out what is going on in the world. Some of us start local and expand further out while others want to know about the biggest happenings.

Like clockwork, we do this day in and day out. But why do we do this?

Obviously many of us seek to stay informed. We aspire to know what is going on in our world. Being informed is a great springboard for conversation. As we walk into our offices we may pass by our coworkers, team members, a customer or supplier and we may just want to strike up a conversation.

“Hey, did you hear about the new iPhone,” or “How about those Eagles!”

This knowledge coupled with a few well-placed words is sometimes all that is needed to strike up a conversation. A dialogue of further meaning and the roots of something more; for when we couple people, information and a passion […]

By |March 18th, 2014|Blog|5 Comments

Advanced AV Welcomes Back Keith Clizbe, CTS as Production Manager

Keith Clizbe brings over twenty-seven years of direct experience in the audiovisual industry. Keith’s job responsibilities for Advanced AV will include management of Project Managers, Project Coordinators, Project Administrator, Fabrication, Technicians and Installers. Keith will work closely with Senior Management to develop and execute procedures. He will be challenged to develop new processes for projects and assist in strategic planning for the future.

Keith has certification in Microsoft Project Levels 1 and 2 and has achieved Extron’s AV Associate (EAVA) and Configurable Control Systems certifications. Keith has received numerous achievements from InfoComm International®, the premier international trade association for the professional audiovisual communications industry, including accreditation as a “Certified Technical Specialist” (CTS), as well as Project Management and Technology Support Online certifications. In addition, Keith is a certified Manager of Environmental, Safety and Health Programs and OSHA trainer with over a dozen supplementary safety certificates. He also has extensive video production experience and electronic graphics training.

“We have worked very hard through the years to develop processes for Production, but as we continue to evolve, we want to have someone familiar with what it takes to deal with the landscape of A/V integration to help mold our teams. That said, we are extremely excited to announce our new Production Manager, and old friend, Keith Clizbe.” Michael Boettcher, President, Advanced AV

By |May 10th, 2013|News|0 Comments

Five focal points for the Classroom of the Future

As I began this article, I did a quick Google search to see what you might be seeing if you began your planning on the web. There were 226 MILLION pages on the topic.

Start to sort through the results and the array of articles you’ll find can be dizzying, each of them with a different take or focus on how technology and learning will merge in the years to come.

Sift through those articles, and the countless seminars and webinars on the subject, and you will see some patterns develop. Add to that our background of building hundreds, if not thousands of electronic classrooms, and those patterns get added to experience. The patterns begin to become tools and knowledge that can help you plan with confidence.

Fortunately, while technology is constantly changing, we’ve now lived in the techinical era of education long enough that we can see trends and learn from history a way that we couldn’t a decade ago.

What have we learned? In general, your planning will have to focus on five key points:

Changes in the classroom space – Effective use of technology, both what we are using today and the newer technologies that are emerging, also mean we have to rethink our classrooms spaces. How do we plan our space to make our investment in technology more effective? And how do we plan for now, yet create a space that can be effective as technology evolves?
Changes in the teacher’s role – As technology plays a larger role in teaching, the teacher’s role evolves too. Far from dehumanizing education, technology offers the possibility of making the teacher even more important in the process. But only if we understand and plan for the changes.
Connectivity – For the […]

By |May 1st, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

April 2013

By |April 17th, 2013|Newsletter Archives|0 Comments

March 2013

By |April 17th, 2013|Newsletter Archives|0 Comments

Managing your Project #2: Culture

A few years ago I was helping a university as they sorted through their options in a $12M media facility. As their consultant, I had worked with them and their architect for several months, helped write their RFP, and now we were reviewing the final three Vendors. The client asked for my opinion. When I gave them my thoughts, they were not based on capability, but on culture.

Why?

Here’s the truth – almost every AV Vendor can plan and build an AV system that works and meets whatever specs you throw at them. But if you want the process to be a positive one, and you want the right kind of support after the system is finished, you need to be aware of the vendor’s culture. Here are some questions you may want to ask…

You want to know how their change order process works, and at what level it kicks in. Some vendors build a little wiggle room so every little hiccup does not spawn a changeorder, with its increase in price, and its delays.
Ask them how their people are trained. InfoComm has several levels of acredidation, and each one translates into a percentage of technicians formally trained. The higher the level (Diamond is the highest) the larger percentage of technicians that been through the certification process. A high level of certification means the vendor consistently invests in quality people to work on your system.
Talk to them about their design philosophy, and make sure you have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what in the design and build process.
Have a clear understanding of how much of your project is being “farmed out” to freelancers. Some vendors work primarily with their own people on […]

By |April 5th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Managing your Project

Not long ago I was reviewing files on past projects. I realized I have spent almost 30 years designing, building and managing projects in the AV, Broadcast and Media-Centric IT world. I did the math and that translates into roughly 700 projects in that time period. And while the technologies have consistantly evolved, some things have remained the same, particularly the lessons about what makes a successful project.

When I first got in this business, I thought the success of a project depended mostly on the equipment I chose. If I chose the right mix of gear and software, then I and my clients would feel the system was a rave success.

But I was young then. And mostly wrong.

For the past couple of decades, I have done post-mortem meetings with almost everyone I have done a project for. Whether it’s a single conference or edit room, or a huge multi-million dollar complex, I make a point to sit down after a project and pick my client’s brain about what they think made a project a success or failure.

And over that time, the answers have been remarkably similar. And they have a great deal more to do with process, people and promises, than products. Here are a few of the most important lessons I have learned.

Explain your organization’s culture. If a vendor understands your corporate culture, what expectations are, how decisions are made, what time and money pressures you have, how you work, what makes life easy for you, they can plan for those things, build them into their bid and their process, and you will end up happier. But if you don’t tell them, they won’t know.
Good, consistent communication is the single most important factor in […]

By |March 28th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments
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